Bloodright : Rise of the Border Princes
Lair of Vartaksithraxus
Vartaksithraxus the Bold is a young, but powerful spaell-casting dragon who claimed a secret identity, that of Baron Vartak to seize a kingdom and prepare to claim an empire. He secretly laired in this mountain, located in a secluded valley on the north-western eaves of The Dark Fence. Griffon Aeyrie lies about twelve (12) miles south-east of Frosthelm, and is a prominent landmark in this part of Bloodthorn Vale.
The mountain itself has an extensive cave network riddling throughout the lower levels of this high mesa. Griffon Aeyrie is 300’ high and roughly circular, 1000’ in diameter. Like the surrounding lands, it is a limestone outcropping shot through with caves. On its western side, a monstrous sinkhole has formed, dropping 300’ to the surface of a 200’-deep (somehwat brackish) freshwater lake. This tube is 300’ in diameter. The outer cliffs of the mountain are steep and densely wooded, but they can be scaled in a few hours by skilled and daring climbers without gear. The sinkhole walls, however, are another story, requiring ropes and other equipment.
On the western face of the mountain slopes is a large stone double doorway, set at ground level before a large permanent Teleportation Circle. Beyond these doors is the lair of the gnolls that serve Vartaksithraxus, and through these collapsed caves access the tube to the dragon’s lair.
The valley surrounding the mountain is desolate, with most game and edibles having been picked clean by both the local gnolls, the Tribe of the Iron Shackle, and the voracious appetite of _Vartaksithraxus himself. There are no random encounters in the valley outside of gnoll hunters heading on a hunt, or returning from one, and the scraggly herd of long-horn cattle that the gnolls have stolen over the years from nearby steadings.
The valley has become very desolate over the last few years, and with the current storms and snows has become a rocky, ice-covered vale of stone and faded scrub grasses. Black patches of charred and scratched stonework are found all along the higher perches of the valley.